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TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Devin Coldewey writes that MIT researchers have created a new nanoengineered material that could prove tougher than Kevlar or steel. “Made of interconnected carbon ‘tetrakaidecahedrons,’ the material absorbed the impact of microscopic bullets in spectacular fashion,” writes Coldewey.

TopUniversities.com

Provost Marty Schmidt speaks with TopUniversities.com reporter Chloe Lane about how MIT has maintained its position as the top university in the world on the QS World University Rankings for 10 consecutive years. “I am honored to have been a part of the MIT community for almost 40 years,” says Schmidt. “It’s a truly interdisciplinary, collaborative, thought-provoking place that encourages experimentation and pushes you to expand your mind. I think it’s a wonderful place to call home.”

NOVA Next

Hanna Ali of NOVA Next speaks with Prof. Desiree Plata about methane emissions and Prof. Tim Swager about his work developing sensors that could allow users to “see” methane, track down its source and mitigate impacts. “You probably hear headlines all the time, ‘Everywhere we look for plastics in the environment, we find them,’” Plata says. “The same is true of most industrial chemicals, but the problem is I can’t pull out my cell phone and take a picture of [them]. Tim’s sensors are helping to close that gap.”

Forbes

To better understand what gives mucus its disease-protecting properties, MIT researchers created synthetic mucins, writes Forbes contributor Jackie Rocheleau. Understanding the antimicrobial properties of mucus “could offer a whole new way of treating infectious disease,” says Prof. Laura Kiessling.

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have discovered the molecular structure of a protein that plays a key role in the coronavirus’ ability to replicate itself and stimulate the host cell’s inflammation response, reports Travis Anderson for The Boston Globe. “If researchers can find a way to ‘block this channel,’” writes Anderson, “then they might be able to reduce the ‘pathogenicity of the virus’ and also obstruct viral replication.”

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics reporter Kyro Mitchell spotlights how MIT researchers have created a new material, inspired by camel fur, that could be used to help insulate food and medical supplies. “Field tests on the new material show that it can provide cooling of more than seven degrees Celsius,” writes Mitchell. “It can also maintain that low temperature for five times longer than using hydrogel alone.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian reporter Corryn Wetzel spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new technology inspired by camel fur that could be used to keep food and medical supplies chilled. The researchers hope the new system could be applied to “lots of areas that require passive cooling—meaning no external energy needs to power the process. Possible applications include insulating food storage, medical supplies and buildings.”

New Scientist

MIT researchers have created a new material that mimics camel fur and could be used to help keep food and medical supplies cool without electricity, reports Layal Liverpool for New Scientist. “We achieve evaporation and insulation at the same time, extending the cooling period significantly,” explains Prof. Jeffrey Grossman.

CNBC

CNBC reporter Charlie Wood features tProf. Connor Coley's work developing a new system that could be used to help automate molecule manufacturing. “It tries to understand, based on those patterns, what kind of transformations should work for new molecules it’s never seen before,” says Coley.

New York Times

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, who former Vice President Al Gore called a “trailblazing pioneer of the climate movement,” has died at age 77, reports John Schwartz for The New York Times. Molina shared a “Nobel Prize for work showing the damage that chemicals used in hair spray and refrigerators wreak on the ozone layer, which led to one of the most successful international efforts to combat environmental risk.”

The Guardian

Guardian reporter Fiona Harvey memorializes the life and work of Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his research uncovering the impact of CFCs on the ozone layer. Harvey notes that Molina’s work, “will also help to avert ruin from that other dire emergency, the climate crisis.”

The Washington Post

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his work demonstrating the risk of CFCs to the ozone layer, has died at age 77, reports Emily Langer for The Washington Post. Langer notes that Molina was also “a prominent voice in debates about how best to combat climate change.” 

Science

Writing for Science, Derek Lowe spotlights how MIT researchers are developing a platform that could be used to automate the production of molecules for use in medicine, solar energy and more. “The eventual hope is to unite the software and the hardware in this area,” reports Lowe, “and come up with a system that can produce new compounds with a minimum of human intervention.”

Wired

MIT researchers have developed a new method for potentially increasing solar cell efficiency beyond the theoretical limit, reports Daniel Oberhaus for Wired. “What’s cool here is that this is a fundamentally different approach from traditional photovoltaics,” says Joseph Berry of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Boston Globe

A new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that life on Earth may have begun in shallow bodies of water, reports Martin Finucane for The Boston Globe. The researchers found that ponds “could have held high concentrations of a key ingredient, nitrogen, while that would have been less likely in the ocean,” Finucane explains.